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Author Topic: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.  (Read 772 times)

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craigwojo

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Hi everyone,

Being relatively new to building and learning an arcade machine for my basement I would like some advice.

This would be your typical PC driven machine with emulations of MAME, Nintendo 64, Atari ST, Commodore, Sega, etc.  Will be getting a X-Arcade Tankstick w/trackball.  Looking to have a 27" screen for the monitor.
I guess what I'm looking for is the software answers. (I can get the ROMS for the games, no problem) What I'm looking for is what operating system should I run 32bit or 64bit? Windows 7? I would like to have a very user friendly (but really cool) frontend to load the games from a menu. What would you recommend? Can all the emulation games that I have with different platforms be on one menu?  Just looking for a little guidance on this issue.

Thank you and God bless,
Craig

Titchgamer

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 04:10:04 am »
Welcome!

Firstly, I would say build your own cp, dont get a tank stick.
You can choose your own quality parts and have more freedom with layouts and positioning.

OS most people run Win XP or 7, I personally use 7 64 bit.
But the architecture does not really matter.

As for the listing software what you are looking for is a front end software.
There are many and again people will recommend different ones.

I personally use hyper spin which works well and is very customisable but is not that easy to set up.

Maximus arcade is cheap and easy to set up but hard to get help with problems as the project is now dead.

craigwojo

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 08:44:52 am »
Thank you Titchgamer.  Very appreciated.  I looked in many different frontends and I believe I will be choosing Launchbox or GameEx.

On the home platform, N64, Dreamcast, etc. I would like to use the controllers for that game.  I see many with USB connectors to work with the PC.  Really looking forward to making the cabinet, since I have dabbled in cabinet making for more than 20 years and looking into the graphics since I co-own a sign company.  This is going to be fun.

Thank you and God bless again,
Craig

BadMouth

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 09:55:59 am »
OS most people run Win XP or 7, I personally use 7 64 bit.
But the architecture does not really matter.

Actually it does.  The 64-bit version of MAME performs better than the 32-bit version.
It's not a huge difference and varies by driver (driver=the emulation programming for a particular arcade board).
But for the games that are struggling to run full speed on your system it can be the difference between them running full speed or having slowdown and sound skips.

Switching from  32 bit to 64 bit on my old driving cab actually made the difference on a couple games, which on a driving cab is a lot.
I remember NFL Blitz also being a game that greatly benefited from a 64-bit build, although the goal posts have probably moved by now.


harveybirdman

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 10:38:21 am »
Think twice about the consoles, there are very few console games that play well at length standing up, but you are dead on about using native controllers for them if you do add them.

Also second the 64 bit architecture being a must.  It makes a big difference in games that are important to me.

smass

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 10:49:42 am »
I built an upright cabinet using a tankstick I acquired a few years ago.  As has been pointed out, the tankstick components are not the best of the best, but I have had a good experience with mine.  Also, the tankstick goes on sale once in a while, last week it was only $129 from x-arcade, but it looks like that sale is over now.  If you price out components that's actually a pretty good deal.   For that price you could strip out the components and build your own CP, or just do what I did and build a cabinet around the tankstick. 

I used a modified version of these plans: http://www.lightscamerahome.com/lcd_mame_cabinet_1.html  My main modification was to takes a few inches off the depth so that I could make the two side pieces out of one sheet of plywood.

If you are going to use the tankstick I personally think it looks much better "deboxed" and mounted in a more integrated way.  I am not a fan of the "Xtension" style where the cabinet has a socket for the tankstick - I think they look cheesy. 

I was able to build my tankstick cabinet for around $300 (including tankstick cost) using a CL 19" Dell LCD and an old computer I had running Windows 7.  Here's a picture to give you some idea of what you can do for not too much money.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 10:11:51 pm by smass »

BadMouth

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 11:21:31 am »
I used a tankstick for a few years while I hung out on this forum and learned how things were done.
It gets too much flack around here.  It's very good for what it is; an affordable complete arcade control panel that's ready to go as soon as you unbox it.
I sold mine to a friend and he is still using it and hasn't had any issues with it.

Titchgamer

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 11:22:40 am »
64 bit is a faster architecture and  will support more RAM.

But its no good if you are running 32bit hardware.

If you have 64bit hardware you should be running 64bit windows anyway.

Hence why I said its largely unimportant :p

gildahl

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 11:13:49 am »
To echo the choir go for x64.  As for OS, 7 is fine but might as well go for 10 if you want to remain on a supported OS.  If 10, you'll probably want at least the Pro verson so that you can control when updates happen.  Latest revs also let you turn off most of the telemetry.  I looked at Tanksticks early.  Good choice for quick & dirty, but you'll get a lot more milage/flexibility if you DIY.  At very least, plan so you can easily swap out the CP with your own later.  I started wtih Maximus Arcade and liked it but due to non-support switched.  I tried HS, but as a software developer quckly fled as I didn't want my playtime to resemble work.  I ended up with GameEx, which offered remarkable flexibility out of the box, an excellent game database (my favorite feature), and very good forum support.  It desperately needs the ability to do per-list filtering, but other than that continues to be my favorite FE.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 11:19:34 am by gildahl »

craigwojo

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 01:26:07 pm »
Thank you everyone.  I'm thinking of making my own CP now.  What components are built the best. Also, I have no idea on how the wiring goes (but I will research it like everything else.)  Also I have an idea for the control panel... under each button, joystick, trackball, etc. I plan on have a thin (1/16") piece of acrylic or plexiglass and have a RGB diode connected to the plexiglass.  This will illuminate the edges of the glass which will give it a neon glow to each control unit. The diode can be any color or dimmed since they will are LED.  Working on the blueprint in my head and soon to be drafted to AutoCAD or CorelDRAW.
Also, do all the games (or emulators) support 64bit and/or Windows 10 pro?

Thank you and God bless,
Craig

JudgeRob

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 02:48:44 pm »
They all seem to work on 64-bit.  I assume Win 10 is not a problem either.

I got sticks and encoder from Ultimarc.  Very good support.

I got buttons form Paradise.  You can get lighted buttons if you want and forget about the plexi.  That's what I did.  It's preference.  I don't like plexi on top...

Titchgamer

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 03:21:46 pm »
Not sure about 10 either, I refuse to use it but everything works on x64.

You could probably do what you want regarding the LED lighting with pelle rings.

As for the controls, They are quite simple but I would say buy some quality parts.

The controls make or break an arcade experience so buy good quality stuff.

And ultimarc is a excellent source of controllers, info and other parts.

yotsuya

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2017, 03:43:42 pm »
I was going to do the whole tank stick thing back in 2010 myself. I'm glad I manned up and learn how to wire control panels. I can do it in my sleep now.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

barrymossel

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Re: Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 03:56:47 pm »
I can do it in my sleep now.
A toddler could do it in its sleep.

yotsuya

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Advice wanted. Looking to build a arcade cabinet for basement.
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 07:12:15 pm »
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

  
 

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